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Excerpted from Developing Intuition by Shakti Gawain. Copyright 2000 by Shakti Gawain. Excerpted by permission of New World Library, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 

"The terms intuitive and psychic are often used more or less synonymously."

  Shakti Gawain, Developing Intuition, Part 3

Most of us have spent a lifetime developing our rational minds. Fortunately it doesn't take a long time or a lot of work to develop our intuitive abilities. In fact, I've facilitated thousands of people in this process and I've found that with a little explanation and practice the vast majority of them are able to get in touch with their intuition and begin following it on a regular basis. From there, the whole process of balancing logic with intuition happens easily and naturally.

Intuition and Instinct

People often use the term instinct interchangeably with intuition. In reality, instinct and intuition are different, but related.

Animals live by their instinct, a genetically programmed part of them that naturally directs them toward survival and reproduction. Human beings are animals and we also have instinctual energies that prompt us toward self-preservation and the preservation of our species. In addition to instinct, we humans have intuition, a faculty which gives us a much broader spectrum of information, related not only to our survival but our growth, development, self-expression, and higher purpose. Instinctual behavior is usually similar in all members of a given species, whereas intuition seems to be fine-tuned to our individual needs in any given moment.

As human beings have become more "civilized," we have tended to repress and disown our instinctual energies, such as aggression and sexuality. To some extent that may be necessary to have an orderly, law-abiding society. If our instincts become overly repressed, however, we lose a lot of our life energy, and our natural capacity to take care of ourselves. When we disown our instinctual energies we often lose touch with our intuition as well. So we need to develop a healthy balance of intellect, instinct, and intuition. (We will discuss more about developing and balancing the different energies within us in chapter 8.)

Intuition and Psychic Ability

When people begin learning about intuition, one question that often comes up is, "What is the difference, if any, between intuition and psychic ability?"

The word psychic can be frightening for many people. They may associate the term with weird, far-out phenomena. Some may have had a confusing or disturbing psychic experience themselves or know someone who has. They may have read about or encountered psychics who are strange, flamboyant, inaccurate, or untrustworthy. Some people have simply seen too many Hollywood movies in which psychic abilities are presented in a dark and frightening way.

The terms intuitive and psychic are often used more or less synonymously. If intuition is equated with psychic ability, some may fear that developing their intuition will lead them somewhere they don't want to go. Others feel the opposite: They are fascinated with the idea of being psychic and for various reasons want to develop that ability.

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